Longtime WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese is beinbg inducted into the National Federation of High Schools Hall of Fame. The WIAA released the following story on the extraordinary honor.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mike Colbrese, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s former Executive Director, has been named to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame, Class of 2024.

Colbrese, along with the 10 other members of the 2024 Class, will be inducted on July 1 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

After a 37-year career as an administrator for three state high school associations, Colbrese retired in 2019. He spent the final 26 years leading up to his retirement as the WIAA’s Executive Director. During Colbrese’s tenure, he made significant changes to advance high school sports across Washington State and throughout the nation.

Colbrese assisted in writing and lobbying for the nation’s first law on concussion and developed a policy for the participation of transgender students in high school sports, a policy that became a national standard. He created a process to require people of color and female representation on WIAA committees, while also starting a WIAA Native American Advisory Committee, including representation on the association’s Executive Board.

On a national scale, Colbrese’s contributions to the NFHS were described as “immense.” Most notably, he served on the Football Rules Committee for 27 years (1982-2008), along with 13 years on the Football Game Officials Manual Committee, serving eight as committee chair. Colbrese has also served on the NFHS’ Basketball and Track & Field rules committees.

Additionally, Colbrese spent two terms on the NFHS’ Board of Directors, including a term while he was in Wyoming and another from 2008-2012 in Washington. He was also a member of the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee (1996-99 & 2005-08).

Other committees Colbrese served on included the NFHS Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Committee, the NFHS Sanctioning Committee, and the NFHS Summer Meeting Advisory Committee. He also assisted with the NFHS’ Be A Sport Program and was the chair of the NFHS’ Coaches Education Review Committee (1991-95).

Colbrese has been previously inducted into six halls of fame (WIAA, Washington Athletic Directors, Washington Officials Association, Washington Music Educators, Wyoming Athletic Directors, Wyoming Music Educators).

Since retiring from the WIAA, Colbrese has returned to the playing surface as a football, basketball, baseball, and softball official. He has also led the growth of the Washington State Football Coalition, focusing on promoting the positive benefits of youth and high school football across the state.

Colbrese joins a group of six other NFHS Hall of Fame inductees from Washington, and is the most recent inductee since Mike Burton (2015).


By paulb

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